“If you put an X (or an x) you can’t go wrong,” said a recent surf executive somewhere discussing a licensing collaborative partnership between two brands with obvious synergies. Collabs, you see, are the way forward, until they aren’t. Here we take a look at some of the more odd couples doing the marketing rounds right now. 

Iggy x Billabong

Our esteemed Editor, on his annual nine week junket in Hawaii, said that Steve Sherman called it the best rock and roll moment in surfing’s history. While obviously Sherm must have missed Pseudo Echo playing Redhead Beach in 1985 (at the height of Funky Town fame), he was obviously alluding to Iggy Pop’s performance at the Billabong Pipe Masters Opening Party. Putting aside the question of just what is 70-year-old non-surfing rock God lizard’s appeal is to the yoof of today, the latest Billabong Collab (they previously colluded with Bob Marley and Andy Warhol, so at least Ig’s still kicking) sure generated some heat. Unlike Pseudo Echo, I missed the latest live incarnation of surf’s latest greatest collab. Somehow I get the feeling there’ll be more opportunities. 

Shane Dorian and Nathan Webster

Shane Dorian and Nathan Webster announced this week their new podcast called “The Drop.” Now a surfing podcast isn’t surprising, Christ even I have one (check out Surf Europe podcast, its fucking amazing), but this collab took me by surprise. I mean what next? Larry Rios and Jake Spooner with a Radio Show. Todd Prestage and Keone Downing on Breakfast TV. Danny Wills and Myles Padaca with a Christmas album? The world’s gone mad, but go and check out my podcast, it’s awesome. 

Chanel and Surf In General

Remember when Gisele Bündchen tore apart The Hamptons in the perfume campaign's short film, The One That I Want, directed by Baz Luhrmann. It was a collaboration between the world's highest-paid model (Gisele earned $47 million bucks in 2015), one of Hollywood's most talented directors and surfing itself. It was absolute shite, but it does give us the opportunity to put up a rights free photo of Giselle in a bikini. Call me clickbait. I’ve been called much worse.

Rip Curl and Citroën

Surf brands and the motor industry have been attracted to each other since the dawn of the combustion engine. How could we forget the Model T Ford Archibold released in 1932?  More recently professional surfers have had to build aircraft hangers as garages just to house their latest collabs. However we might as well pick out just one. And that one is the Europe based Citroën C4 Cactus Rip Curl which, I’m told, has “A Rip Curl signature in white lettering is blended with it, creating a graphic statement that firmly places the car in the surfing universe and the search for the perfect wave!” You had me at Cactus. 

Rusty and Shark Mitigation

It was back in January that Smart Marine Systems announced it had teamed up with Rusty with a view to incorporate their world-leading Shark Attack Mitigation Systems (SAMSTM) visual technology into Rusty’s Australian surfboard portfolio. Now the marine grade vinyl stickers might not make you surf any better, they just might keep you alive. Personally I’d rather my board just looks cool.